Today in bonkers rumors, Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin may be unhappy and would welcome a trade, Elliotte Friedman told Sportsnet 960 on Friday.
“When you get knocked out of the playoffs and the day after your president comes out and says, ‘Look, we’re not firing Mike Johnston, we’re not firing Jim Rutherford, we’re not trading Evgeni Malkin, and we’re not trading Sidney Crosby.”
“Now I can understand you coming out and saying the first two, but why would you need to say the next two? Why do you have to tell everybody we’re not trading Malkin or Crosby? And that’s when the sale rumors went wild.”
That is pretty crazy rumor. Malkin is an elite NHL talent who every team in the league would be interested in should he hit the open market. He did go pointless during Pittsburgh’s five-game series against the New York Rangers, but such a small sample size would not be the basis of trading him, as he’s scored at well over a point-per-game clip in both the playoffs and the regular season.
Friedman talked about how Malkin may be unhappy with his current situation.
“They’re not trading Crosby, but I will tell you this. There have been rumors about Malkin’s happiness. About whether or not he wants to stay, and I think (Morehouse’s comments were) directed exactly at them.
I have no idea if the Penguins are going to trade Malkin. I would suspect no until a sale gets done. But I can tell you this – there are people around the league who have been saying they’ve been hearing rumors that Malkin is not happy and would welcome a change of scenery.”
The return for Malkin, should he get dealt, would have to be astronomically high. It would be a ballsy move by Jim Rutherford to move the 28-year-old, but he hasn’t shied away from trading big players before. Malkin, however, is a franchise player. It would be a huge risk to move him when he’s in the middle of his prime.
Malkin doesn’t seem to be too worried about things, as he’s posted the first of his annual classic fishing trip photos on his Instagram.
We’ll update the story should any more developments come up.
Friedman clarified in the interview, Pittsburgh isn’t going to do it.
@theScore I also said PIT is not going to do it.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 5, 2015